TURNING around Hartlepool United’s home fortunes is paramount to any hopes of success.

For too long, the form at the Super 6 Stadium has been far from super.

Three wins from four at home and Craig Hignett may have started to steady things. He was unable to halt the home slide last time he was in charge and still this season Pools have lost eight games in front of their own fans.

But this win over Halifax was solid, entertaining and encouraging. The crowd, quite rightly at the time questioned by then boss Richard Money for their negativity, have changed since December.

It’s no longer a cess pit of vitriol. There’s a positive atmosphere, largely engineered from the north west corner of the Neale Cooper Stand and that filters around the ground.

The crowd encourage the players; the players respond positively. A welcome change in outlook and attitude.

Boss Craig Hignett said: “A win was pleasing and three wins from four at home is good for everyone. We all want to win at home, we need to make it a fortress and make it a tough place to come.

“Home form hasn’t been good enough and looking at since I took over we need to make it a tough place to come. With ambition in this league you have to.’’

He added: “Both teams started positively, the fans have their part to play as well and no-one felt it was a dead rubber because the lads on the far side made a constant din. Even when we conceded they stuck with us and encouraged.

“The crowd has made a massive difference. There’s nothing worse than playing in a game which is dead and a dead atmosphere. Home form has got better and we want to give them something to cheer.

“The fans are great here and they can see the players giving their all.

“Recent performances and what they have seen has given them all a bit of belief. A goal down, two down and we are in the game. We haven’t been clinical enough. We went one-down, could have scored more but the fans stayed behind us and applauded the lads.

“I want us all to be one, win, lose or draw and the only way to do that is to perform and give the crowd something.’’

Pools had a couple of early openings, Luke James fizzing a rising shot over the bar after Nicke Kabamba sent a header over.

But they trailed on 13 minutes. Devante Rodney, the former Pools striker, was picked out in space on the edge of the penalty area and he was calmness personified as he fired a crisp, low shot past Scott Loach.

Three goals in three games and six in ten for the Shaymen for the striker who at times when at Pools looked lost.

Once again, Pools had to come from behind if they were to get something.

They could have had even more to do but Manny Duku headed a bouncing ball over and Cameron King angled a shot wide.

There was almost a leveller on 21 minutes. Gavan Holohan met a low ball 18 yards out and keeper Sam Johnson made an acrobatic tip-over.

He did the same to brilliantly push over a goalbound Luke Molyneux drive from distance.

Pools did, deservedly, equalise on 33 minutes. Molyneux’s low cross to the near post saw James edge ahead of his marker at the near post and tidily flick his finish across Johnson.

Provider turned scorer on 53 minutes. Molyneux made it simple.

Nicky Featherstone broke up a Halifax attack and foraged ahead. The ball was worked to Holohan who picked out Molyneux in the danger zone. A turn towards goal and his angled finish was clipped across Johnson to put Pools in front.

Holohan was replaced for the final 15 minutes, as Liam Noble was introduced. After his scoring debut last weekend, Holohan can be satisfied with the start he has made to his Pools career.

On a short-term deal until the end of the season, the Irish midfielder has done his hopes of staying longer no harm whatsoever.

Pools seemed disrupted by the change and they started to sit back, inviting the opposition on, a dangerous tactic with ten minutes remaining, but generally they were untroubled.

Rodney, now through the middle after starting wide, was almost in during injury time as Pools were cut apart, but Loach was quick off his line and out of his area to sweep away.